“We need some additional labor. Our probably average age of our labor force is crowding 65.”
Jay Wilder figures if he’s growing his own labor, he might as well teach them what he wants them to know. 4-h projects are great teaching tools.
“The boys have learned and I even learned the responsibility of feeding and cleaning, working with your animals, whether it’s steers or heifers, pigs, chickens.”
This year Jayce and Spencer are raising commercial heifers.
“On the commercial heifers or replacement heifers they’re learning that it’s not just an immediate process. We buy them as yearlings, and then we have to get them bred, and that calf is either a replacement itself, possibly a show animal, or just a slaughter animal, you know for food. It’s teaching them that you don’t just go to the grocery store and your beef is there. There’s a process that takes a good two years to get that animal to that facility.”
There’s a lesson there for all of us.
“The whole goal of a commercial heifer project is to try and raise a cow man.”
And like many ranchers, the wilder boys will be selling the commercial heifers they’ve raised. There’s a special youth commercial heifer sale October 28th. I’m Joe Brown, looking at Brazos Valley agriculture, From the Ground Up.